The Talking

I don't know how to write a post about the talking without being one of those parents who says, "I don't mean to brag, but I feel sure, I can just tell that Suzy/Johnny/Chelsea/Jack is gifted." You are not fooled by the disclaimer. They are bragging. You hate those people. You hate their children.

I don't think Lucy is gifted. I just think she knows lots and lots of words. That she uses to make sentences with nouns and verbs and pronouns and adverbs and adjectives and prepositions, in various tenses. I fear that when she takes some standardized test, she will prove to be what I am: so verbally exceptional and mathematically retarded as to be... slightly above average. The advantage of verbal ability early on is that everybody TALKS. But who solves for x at age 2? No one. So the verbal kid looks like a smarty, while the other quiet genius? Well, that kid just mentally counts all the money he/she will be earning while Verbal talks his/her way to a Liberal Arts degree and a job in advertising. GO MATH!

Jason was talking with Lu's teacher, Ms. Uzma, about the talking. Ms. Uzma is a pretty Muslim lady who wears Western clothes and a smart, coordinating head scarf. Lu loves her, and when she first started at Twin Oaks during the colder months, she insisted on wearing a hood at all times to be like Ms. Uzma. I think maybe the feeling is mutual, though Ms. Uzma is a pretty tough character who tells the children sternly they are "so sad!" when they are doing something wrong. Lu is always telling Duck, Pig, Bear and Clifford how they are "so sad!"

Ms. Uzma told Jason that Lu is so verbal and mature that they sometimes forget that she is only two and a half. She speaks as clearly as a five-year-old, Ms. Uzma said. They forget about her real age until Lu throws an epic fit like the one she did at lunch today. She's three grade levels above on verbal skills, below grade level for behavior. Which makes her...slightly above average.